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afra069 Avarua - A travel report by Amy
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Avarua,  Cook Islands - flag Cook Islands
4486 readers

afra069's travel reports

A Tropical Experience

  14 votes

Avarua travelogue picture
Avarua is the main town on Rarotonga, and is the only place to do tourist shopping. The rest of the island has little communities scattered round it, but these are hard to distinguish from the resorts and the hords of private tourist accommodation lodeges. The majority of the island can be seen by the single road going around the outside of it. One side is stunning beach and the other is mountainous terrain. It's a real contrast. The majority of the beaches are protected by a reef, so the waves break about 50 metres from shore and the beaches are really calm. Muri Beach is the only true sand beach, but if you want to get away from all the tourists, there are beaches everywhere that you can snorkel on, and are absolutely stunning. Think of all the picture postcards of fish, and it's actually true. The snorkelling is fantastic! It's a clash of tourism and tradition, but overall, Rarotonga is truly stunning.

Favourite spots:
Avarua travelogue picture
Halfway around the island is the Salt Water Cafe. There is a beautiful sandy beach just across, and it's not filled with tourists. Really private, just you and the fish. The reef is really far out, and at high tide you can snorkel with giant fish- fantastic! The Fruits of Rarotonga offer the best snorkelling so far as tropical fish are concerned, but the reef around the Edgewater Resort has gorgeous corals and starfish.

What's really great:
Avarua travelogue picture
Rarotonga is exactly as you would imagine it. The weather is warm and sunny, the water is warm and sparkling blue and the people are relaxed (hence the name cook island's time. What was really special was that the Cooks live up to all the expectations that the brochures portray. To find a place that does that is really special.,

Sights:
Avarua travelogue picture
Whatever you do, make sure you get a CI Drivers Licence. The test is an experience in itself. Hire a scooter, and you'll get to explore every nook and cranny of the island. It's amazing being able to drive around and stop for a swim when ever you see a beach you might like:) It's also a good souvinear for $10.

Accommodations:
Avarua travelogue picture
We stayed at Edgewater Resort, which was fantastice. However, there are so many private beach side bungalows, and everything is so accessible, that it isn't an absolute necessity to do the resort thing. The bungalows are generally cheaper, and offer everything bar the pool and restaurant.

For the budget traveller, Rarotongan Backpackers is fantastic. However, during the peak season, they tend to bring more beds into the dorms, which is not exactly comfortable when the room is only cooled by ceiling fans.

Most rooms (where ever you stay) are at the least fan-cooled. However, the sea is never far away from any accommodation, and you probably won't want to be inside all that much anyway.

Private accommodation is cheaper, generally $60-100 per night for a room or bungalow. The resorts are more expensive, but do offer everything you would ever need in order to have a good time.

Nightlife:
Avarua travelogue picture
There are plenty of small clubs on the island, but don't expect anything that you'd find in the big cities overseas. They all have the Cook Islands touch, and most resorts do a Night Life tour.

Restaurants:
Avarua travelogue picture
Edgewater Resort put on Island Nights every week. These are really popular for the guests and all other tourists on the island, so you've got to book. The food is fantastic, then the show runs for an hour and a half. It's all based on participation, so if you look sheepish or are trying to hide, you'll definately be pulled up on stage to dance with the CI dancers (it's all good fun though). A few cocktails before hand certainly helps.

We also found a little cafe called Saltywater. It does absolutely amazing fish and chips. The fish was Mahimahi, and tasted like fish I had never tasted before. The food and staff are great, and are always up for a chat. They aren't there to pester you and make a buck, but just to ensure you leave the Cooks with a good impression (not to mention Mark makes a fantastic smoothy!).

Published on Wednesday April 21th, 2004


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Wed, Aug 25 2004 - 04:11 PM rating by nedkelly

What can I say, your report got me so stoked I wanna be ona plane right now. Well done.

Sat, Jun 19 2004 - 09:09 PM rating by downundergal

Great story Amy, it makes me want to pack my bags and leave straightaway.
I have heard the diving is amazing.
Cheers,
Kerrie

Tue, May 18 2004 - 05:40 PM rating by whereisliz

Beautiful photos, wonderfully detailed report!

Sat, Apr 24 2004 - 08:38 AM rating by gunjan

Simply good ..Great piece of information

Thu, Apr 22 2004 - 06:17 AM rating by travelalain

Good report with a lot of interesting thing to read. I hope you can add some photos to make this report even better.

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